Applicants for UK trade marks, designs and patents will be required to appoint a UK address for service going forward, according to a recent announcement by the UK Government.

A UK address for service will also be required for new requests to start contentious proceedings before the UK Intellectual Property Office, such as opposition or invalidation actions.

Subject to parliamentary timetabling, the Government hopes to implement the new rules with effect from 1 January 2021. 

The announcement follows responses to the Government's call for views on the 'address for service' issue, in which 92% of respondents were in favour of the change.

For the moment, a UK address for service will not be required for:

  • the renewal of existing registered or granted rights, nor
  • the more than two million comparable UK rights which will come into existence following the end of the transitional period, based on EU trade marks and Community designs (for at least three years).

If you have any queries about your trade mark or design protection in the UK, please contact a member of our Intellectual Property team.